Property managers help landlords better manage not just the unit, but also their investment. Image Credit: Supplied

Do you own a property or multiple properties in Dubai and want them to be managed? Are you an overseas investor and want to ensure that all regulatory items are taken care of, including scheduling of condition reports of the property, rental cheques, property maintenance management and sending out notices to tenants whenever required? The biggest benefit of having your property managed is definitely the peace of mind it gives the owner. Landlords can relax knowing that there is an impartial third party protecting their property, deposit and tenant. Property managers take care of the often time-consuming, day-to-day problems that may arise in the life cycle of a building.

From screening tenants and collecting documentation, to accompanied viewings with prospective tenants, collection and safe keeping of rental deposits, preparation of tenancy agreement and Ejari registration, rent collection and government compliance, managing a property can be a full-time job. Many landlords may live overseas in a different time zone or even if based locally, they can have incredibly busy schedules. A property manager is responsible for the smooth running of the property and contacts the landlord on specific occasions, for instance to give consent for maintenance works an update on the investment.

Maintaining a property inventory is the most important part of the property management service. It is a professional report recording the condition of the property. The property inventory protects the owner against damage on the investment and ensures that should there be any dispute on condition of the unit, there is a professional report that both parties can refer to.

To avoid vacant units

John Stevens, managing director and head of asset management department at Asteco Property Management, says in Dubai the main concern for landlords is to keep their units occupied and get the best rents possible. “We constant try and ensure that we have all units full at the highest possible rate, and for this we work with our own agents as well as other agents who are strong in a particular area in Dubai. We make sure that the unit is marketed well and information is circulated on all platforms. Also, when a tenant moves out, we inspect the property and ensure that it is not damaged before getting it re-rented again.”

Stevens says that even in a slow market, people are moving around and upgrading their lifestyles constantly. “Rents are a lot lower but if you are a smart landlord you will list your property at the right price to speed up the leasing process.” Along with right pricing Stevens also feels that it’s important for landlords to retain long-term tenants. “Once you’ve got a tenant in this market, it’s better not to let them leave. Give them a good service and make the terms of the tenancy attractive to them. Especially in the budget segment, tenants are a lot more price sensitive and they will move to another unit in order to ensure a savings of Dh2,000 to Dh3,000. But despite the tough market conditions, you will find a tenant in Dubai as people are constantly moving.”

Multitasking

For Anisha Sagar, head of property management at Allsopp and Allsopp, an average day would include looking into urgent maintenance work of the buildings she manages, checking the move-ins and move-outs that might take priority and the landlord cheques that need to be banked that day. “When there are units available for rent, we coordinate with the leasing agents to get ongoing updates on the search for a tenant and ensure that the landlord is up to date,” says Sagar. “We also carry out biyearly inspections on all managed properties. These include visual inspections, which are very thorough and we check the floor to the ceiling, internal and external aspects of the property. Fixtures and fittings are also checked along with appliances and overall condition of the entire property.”

Sagar also explains that in the case of a dispute between a landlord and tenant with regard to a security deposit, the property manager has to go through all of the move-in and move-out photographs with the inventory clerk to settle the dispute as fairly as possible. “My day also goes approving rental contracts and ensuring all contracts have been completed to the highest standard. This is extremely important as we need to ensure that our clients are signing contracts which are approved.”